CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 2 . . . .September 15, 2006
Crazy for Puppies!
Jo Ellen Bogart. Photography by Mark Raycroft.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2006.
40 pp., pbk., $6.99.
Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.
Review by Karen Kiddey.
The Boxer face, with its wrinkles and forward facing eyes, is very expressive of the dog's mood, which is often jolly. These pups will be playful friends for years. They will grow strong muscles to help them bound after balls and make amazing leaps into the air. In moments of sheer happiness, they will bend themselves into a kidney bean shape, their back ends wiggling in joy. Boxers can even make a "woo woo" sound when they are happy and excited. These pooches are highly recommended as family pets, though they need lots of socialization in their first months.
Crazy for Puppies! is a junior nonfiction guide to 16 of the most well-known purebred dog breeds in Canada and the United States. Breeds include: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog, Miniature Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Boxer, Bernese Mountain Dog, Pomeranian, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Border Collie, and Chihuahua.
A full-page description of each breed is presented alongside a mini-poster-sized photo of each breed's puppy. Young readers will find a good basic description of each dog's physical appearance, stature, and temperament. Full grown metric weight and height are given for all breeds. Details on the history of the breeds, their unique characteristics, and some recommendations for grooming and care are also provided.
For children and parents alike, a key aspect of this book will be the endearing 8 x 10 glossies of each breed 's puppies. Photo editor Mark Raycroft has done an exceptional job of visually showcasing each breed's specific characteristics. The adjoining text, written by educator and animal-lover Jo Ellen Bogart, provides a good balance of fact and fun. The text, on the whole is clearly written, although more advanced concepts, such as "aloofness" and "socializing a dog" are not explained.
The book finishes with a five page section that includes information on the history of the canine family, stages of puppy development, and a short "Did you know" section. The pawprint factoids featured at the bottom of each page are a nice quick hit of additional information, and include some fascinating abstracts about our canine companions. An example would be the story of Smoky, the Yorkshire Terrier, who became a World War II hero.
Crazy for Puppies! is a good introductory text for young animal lovers and families who are thinking of buying a pet. Its one limitation is that it covers only 16 breeds. Jack Russell Terriers and Springer Spaniels are two popular breeds that instantly come to mind and that are absent from the list. The book lacks a glossary of terms, and the breeds are not arranged
alphabetically. These are minor deficiencies since this book is intended to be an informal, introductory and visual catalogue of puppies and not a complete guide. The bonus for young readers is the opportunity to learn some things while gazing at the parade of photos.
The large lustrous photos combined with a nice balance of factual information make this book a good complement to a pet care section in a school or public library.
Karen Kiddey is the Manager of Library Services for the Selkirk and St. Andrews Regional Library in Selkirk, MB.
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